Donald Trump plans to dismantle America’s already weak climate policy, potentially dooming not only this country but the entire world to runaway greenhouse warming. The day after Election Day 2016, star climate scientist Michael Mann was already saying he feared that it was “game over” for the Earth’s climate.
In a recent media alert, we noted the occasional tell-tale signs of uncomfortable truths that slip through cracks in the propaganda façade of BBC News. Very occasionally, the propaganda nature is clearly highlighted and can be enjoyed for its directness and the flustered BBC response it provokes.
This week on CounterSpin: “T-Mobile Very Pleased with Direction of Change under Trump Administration, CEO Says.” That headline tells you pretty much what you need to know about Ajit Pai, Trump’s choice of chair for the FCC—the entity charged with representing the public interest in the communications industry. The phone company exec is pleased, he says, because Pai’s appointment signals “an air of less regulation.”
U.S. President Donald Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until Russia complies with two conditions that would not only be humiliating to Russia (and to the vast majority of its citizens), but that would also be profoundly immoral.
Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East has been a major story during the new administration’s early days. As one of Trump’s main campaign promises, this immigration policy has generated untold hours of TV coverage and news headlines.
The policy’s sloppy language, bungled roll-out and punitive real-world impact on innocents have rightly been prominently reported by journalists. Much of the coverage has focused on the widespread backlash to the ban, which has manifested itself in numerous legal challenges and a nationwide series of rapid-response airport protests. Coupled with the new president’s record-low approval ratings, the refugee ban increasingly tells a tale of a White House struggling to impose an unpopular agenda. Continue reading this...
NPR’s report on Iran turned for analysis to what the SPLC describes as “a conspiracy-oriented mouthpiece for the growing anti-Muslim movement in the United States.”
Last week, the Trump administration began ratcheting up hostilities with Iran, nominally in response to a ballistic missile test in late January. NPR (2/2/17) dutifully reported Trump’s announcement of new sanctions on Iran, framing the issue as the Trump White House responding to an Iranian “provocation” in regards to Iran’s agreement with the UN, rather than simply executing long-held plans. A follow-up explainer by international correspondent Peter Kenyon (2/3/17) would muddy the waters further and use an incredibly dodgy source to do so.
Eight-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki, killed in a US raid in Yemen.
This week on CounterSpin: No one should be surprised that the Trump White House declared the recent commando raid in Yemen that killed at least 23 civilians, including children, “a successful operation.” Some media accounts are describing the first raid on Trump’s watch as “botched,” but that’s not the same as questioning it, much less putting it in a broader context of what’s happening in Yemen and what the US is doing there. We’ll get more information from Zaid Jilani, reporter for The Intercept.
David Frum’s “How to Build an Autocracy” leaves out the first step in the recipe.
In “How to Build an Autocracy” (Atlantic, 3/17), George W. Bush speechwriter David (“Axis of Evil”) Frum begins his warning about Donald Trump’s authoritarian tendencies by imagining Trump’s second inauguration in 2021:
American broadcasting network NBC was the first to report news from a senior US military official that in the first airstrike and military raid carried out under President Donald Trump, two Americans were killed in Southern Yemen on Sunday. One was a member of SEAL Team 6 a U.S. Navy component of Joint Special Operations Command, sometimes referred to as a Special Mission Unit. The raid, conducted by JSOC, was intended to capture valuable intelligence, specifically computer equipment – but local accounts describe US personnel running amok, reporting a body count of 59 combatants and civilians, including women and children.
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice. —Donald Trump, January 2, 20141
The alarm bells are ringing. The climate-change denialism of the Trump administration, coupled with its goal of maximizing fossil-fuel extraction and consumption at all costs, constitutes, in the words of Noam Chomsky, “almost a death knell for the human species.” As noted climatologist Michael E. Mann has declared, “I fear that this may be game over for the climate.”2
On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”
And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.”
Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.